Caraway is a unique spice long used in cooking and herbal medicine. Although frequently mistaken for a seed, this small, brown pod is really the dried fruit of the caraway plant (Carum carvi L.). Its slightly bitter, earthy flavor is reminiscent of licorice, coriander, anise, and fennel. It can be used whole or ground in both sweet and savory dishes, such as breads, pastries, curries, and stews. It’s sometimes infused into spirits and liqueurs as well.
When used medicinally, caraway can be made into a tea or taken as a supplement. You can also apply its essential oils to your skin. In fact, emerging research suggests that the aromatic compounds responsible for its distinct taste may also provide health benefits, such as improved digestion.
This medicinal plant is native to: Iran, Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Himalayas, Pakistan and India.
How to use caraway
Caraway is cultivated around the world and relatively inexpensive. It’s readily available in most grocery stores, as well as online.
Caraway is best known as an ingredient in rye and soda bread, but it can likewise be used in other baked goods, such as muffins, cookies, croutons, dinner rolls, and French toast.
It adds a peppery, warm bite to fruit-based desserts and sweets like pies, tarts, jams, jellies, and custards.
It can also be used in savory foods, such as dry rubs, curries, casseroles, soups, stews, and sauces. What’s more, you can try it as a seasoning for roasted vegetables or add it to pickled or fermented foods like sauerkraut.
Alternatively, steep caraway in hot water to make a soothing tea.